The UCLA Disability Studies Minor, Disabled Student Union at UCLA, and USAC Facilities Commission hosted a virtual screening of the Netflix documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution followed by a panel Q&A with the film’s directors, Jim LeBrecht, and Nicole Newnham.
Released in March 2020, Crip Camp starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York, that is a “loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities.” The film focuses on campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and fought for accessibility legislation.
The film stars Larry Allison, Judith Heumann, James LeBrecht, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and Stephen Hofmann.
In the early 1970s, teenagers with disabilities faced a future shaped by isolation, discrimination, and institutionalization. Camp Jened, a ramshackle camp “for the handicapped” (a term no longer used) in the Catskills, exploded those confines. Jened was their freewheeling Utopia, a place with summertime sports, smoking, and make-out sessions awaiting everyone, and campers experienced liberation and full inclusion as human beings. Their bonds endured as many migrated West to Berkeley, California — a hotbed of activism where friends from Camp Jened realized that disruption, civil disobedience, and political participation could change the future for millions.